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Wednesday 13th of July 2022
 
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Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina (or Feitoria da Mina), in present-day Elmina, Ghana
Africa


It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. 

The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, after an unsuccessful attempt in 1596, and took over all of the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. 

The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of Great Britain.
The Gold Coast, which is now Ghana, gained its independence in 1957 from Britain, and had control of the castle.

Elmina Castle is a historical site, and was a major filming location for Werner Herzog's 1987 drama film Cobra Verde. 

The castle is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

It is also a major tourists attraction in the central region of Ghana.

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@JoeBiden moves US closer to confrontation with Russia @BostonGlobe @stephenkinzer
Law & Politics


@JoeBiden  moves US closer to confrontation with Russia @BostonGlobe @stephenkinzer 

The United States is sinking its flag deeper into European soil. 

President Biden announced late last month that the American military will soon open a “permanent base” in Poland, deploy two squadrons of F-35 fighter jets to Britain, send more warships to our sprawling base in Spain, and increase our troop strength in Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. 

Instead of promoting diplomacy that could lead to peace, he chose a course guaranteed to increase tensions with Russia at a moment when they are already approaching an all-time high. 

This brings us one step closer to direct confrontation with another nuclear-armed power.
Biden and other promoters of this policy — a group that includes virtually everyone in Washington — say it is necessary to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. 

In fact, it will have little effect in Ukraine. The true purpose of this American buildup is to threaten and intimidate Russia.

For complex reasons that are as much psychological as political, many Americans have come to regard Russia as a font of evil. 

Many in Washington dream of destroying Russia utterly and forever — stripping it of all power and then perhaps breaking it up into smaller states that would submit to American influence.

For American strategic planners, this war has little to do with Ukraine. They see it as a battering ram against Russia. 

Since saving Ukrainian lives is not their priority, they view diplomacy as an enemy. 

Negotiation would inevitably give Russia at least some of what it wants. 

Russia’s war with Ukraine, on the other hand, holds out the delicious prospect of bringing Russia to its knees. 

That’s why Congress voted to send Ukraine billions of dollars in weaponry, and why President Biden asserted when making his announcement that rather than send diplomats to the crisis zone, he prefers “stepping up” US military involvement there.

Outlines of what will probably be the peace settlement in Ukraine are already clear. Russia will withdraw its army, eastern regions of Ukraine will be guaranteed autonomy, and Ukraine will agree to keep Western troops out of its territory. 

Such a peace, however, would end the dream of inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Russia

That is why many in Washington consider it anathema — and why Secretary of State Antony Blinken refused to meet his Russian counterpart when both were at a summit in Bali last week.

An obsession with crushing Russia lies behind Washington’s passionate embrace of the Ukrainian cause. But there is another, more cosmic reason. 

We are seeing a textbook example of what geo-strategists call the classic security dilemma. 

One country takes steps to secure itself, but others see those steps as preparation for war. 

They respond with buildups of their own. Fears, accusations, and demonizing propaganda intensify until fighting breaks out.
This syndrome has led to countless wars. World War I is just one example. Germany began strengthening its navy to protect trade routes and overseas colonies. 

Britain, determined to “rule the waves,” took this as a threat and began producing radically more destructive warships. 

Germany presumed it was the intended target of those warships, and began building its own. 

The competition became so intense that it took only a single spark, an assassination in Bosnia, to set off the conflagration.

The same cascade of military pride and ambition — the same inability to see things from the other side’s point of view — led to the Ukraine war. 

Democrats and Republicans alike insist that we only ever wanted freedom for Ukraine, that we offered to bring it into the NATO military alliance in 2008 to guarantee that freedom, that we helped depose its Russia-friendly government in 2014 because it was corrupt, and that we are sending tens of billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine only to help it defend itself against aggression.

Russians see things quite differently: America is fiercely dedicated to destroying Russia; it is increasing troop strength in Europe to prepare for a future assault; and if Russia doesn’t stop this tide in Ukraine, it will sooner or later find itself defending Moscow against a US-led attack.
It’s not necessary to decide which of these versions is right, only to recognize that both exist. 

Like many Americans, Biden sees Russia through a lens at least as distorted as the one through which Russia views us. 

His latest step reflects his choice of war over peace — or as he might put it, his belief that peace can best be achieved through war. That will haunt the world long after the Ukraine conflict ends.

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Austrian Chancellor Nehammer “If we continue in the same path, then we will only have two solutions: alcohol or psychotropic drugs” @DagnyTaggart369
Law & Politics


Austrian Chancellor Nehammer said EU will only have alcohol left as a solution if inflation continue to rise .
“If we continue in the same path, then we will only have two solutions: alcohol or psychotropic drugs”

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Why Iran’s Provision of Drones to Russia for Ukraine War is a Diplomatic Failure of the Biden Administration JUAN COLE
Law & Politics


Why Iran’s Provision of Drones to Russia for Ukraine War is a Diplomatic Failure of the Biden Administration JUAN COLE

Sullivan dropped a bombshell. He revealed that Iran is sending Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (i.e. drones) to Russia to help Moscow with its war on Ukraine. 

Sullivan spun this development as a sign of how depleted Russia’s own weapons stockpile is, such that it needed to turn to Iran.
David Barrie at the Iran Primer points out that Iran has been working on UAVs since the Iran-Iraq War, and that it has large models. 

He says, “Iran’s medium-to-large UAVs can probably stay in the air for up to 20 hours while carrying fairly sophisticated sensors, payloads and a range of weapons.”
Ukraine has had great battlefield success with Turkiye’s Bayraktar TB2 and it may be that Russia wants the Iranian UAVs to offset the Turkish drones.
But this Iranian step is clearly a matter of taking sides in the war.
Further, Russia’s success in garnering Iranian help is a failure of the United States. 

Bismarck’s Germany attempted to prevent its numerous neighbors from ganging up on it. 

The Biden administration had an opportunity to divide Iran from Russia by lifting Trump’s illegal sanctions, which extended to the Iranian national bank.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Euro 1.003725 
Dollar Index 108.156 
Japan Yen 137.0860 
Swiss Franc 0.981750 
Pound 1.191645 
Aussie 0.676510 
India Rupee 79.6337 
South Korea Won 1305.575 
Brazil Real 5.4376000 
Egypt Pound 18.875300 
South Africa Rand 16.976900 

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Jul 3 Therefore, recent [largely inorganic] Price corrections in the commodity complex [Oil, Gas, Wheat, in particular] should be accumulated into and not sold.
Commodities


One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity. 

There are plenty of examples of these inorganic price moves. In essence, the Tail wags the dog. 

The challenge is where the Supply/Demand balance is precarious and a small adjustment [reduce Supply or increase Demand] tips the situation into disequilibrium. 

The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.

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Financial traders attacking weak #crudeoil momentum clearly in no mood to read oil market reports. @Ole_S_Hansen
Minerals, Oil & Energy


OPEC expects 2023 demand will exceed supply by 1m b/d. To balance supply, the already close to maxed out group will need to raise production by 1.4m b/d from its June level. #OOTT

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Securing an @IMFNews deal will be no easy task. @Markbohlund says he is “very sceptical that Ghana will be able to secure either a staff-level agreement or an executive board approval for an IMF programme.” @TheAfricaReport
Africa

The country’s public debt is “clearly not sustainable and relations with the fund were “frayed” during much of the most recent IMF programme from 2015 to 2018, Bohlund tells The Africa Report.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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July 2022
 
 
 
 
 
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